While the deals for Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo – who arrives from Atalanta next month – have been viewed with an eye to the future, it was the frustrating pursuit of Jadon Sancho that really stung.
This has left United still looking for an obvious solution to the right of their attack. Mason Greenwood can play the part admirably, while Juan Mata has shown a glimpse of his former self this season, but neither is the perfect answer.
United will likely resume Sancho’s pursuit next summer and hopes are high for Diallo, who has made five senior appearances for Atalanta and is not 19 until next July.
But for now, Pellistri is the only new right winger in the United ranks and he has shown signs of really settling into life in a new environment in recent weeks.
His goal in the thrilling mini-derby at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday made three goals in as many games for Neil Wood’s Under-23 side, having also scored in the EFL Trophy draw at Accrington Stanley during of a Premier League 2 clash with Southampton. .
In November, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Pellistri would need time “to try to find his feet in a new country” and it is understandable that the adjustment has been difficult for the 18-year-old Uruguayan, who signed from Penarol and not only moved to a new country, but to a city with strict foreclosure rules.
There have been signs recently that the teen is finding his marks. Wood and Pellistri himself said he was starting to move in recently and earlier this month, Solskjaer praised his impact in forming the first team.
“Facundo trained with the first team, he did well,” said the Norwegian.
“We thought it was time for him to buy some time.
“He played a few games in the reserves, gradually settled down and is more used to us.
Wood, the Under-23 boss, said: “He’s progressing well but I don’t want to put too much pressure on him. He works hard, trying to gather as much information as possible. ”
They will then travel through the Pennines to face Premier League bottom Sheffield United on Thursday night. The Blades have just one point from their opening 12 games, and three points will be imperative for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side if they are to stay in touch with the former.
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Pellistri has been signed as someone who can make an impact on the first team as early as possible. He had been spotted by Madrid rivals Real and Atletico, as well as Juventus, before United signed him for £ 9million.
He has been on the bench for the Champions League games at Paris Saint-Germain and at home against Istanbul Basaksehir without getting along, but has yet to make the Premier League matchday squad.
Now may be the time for the 18-year-old to get a taste of the senior action. United still depend on Greenwood on the right when they play a 4-2-3-1 and with Daniel James in disgrace the options are limited.
Pellistri could be considered for the bench for Thursday’s trip to Sheffield United in the Premier League, but perhaps the most realistic goal is the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Everton at Goodison Park two days before Christmas.
While this competition is a realistic goal for a trophy this season, Solskjaer will need to make some changes given the busy schedule on his side. Mata excelled in Carabao Cup victories at Luton Town and Brighton earlier this season, but Pellistri is now settled in life at United. His time is approaching and next week Solskjaer has the perfect opportunity to give him a chance in the first team.